Saturday, February 09, 2008

Riding the Storm Out

Today brought choke pilots out of the woodwork to Kahana. The early arrival, Sub Steve, reported some squally conditions, but the omens were good and the wind gods were on our side this time. By the time McStalker arrived the sun was just breaking out and the conditions were looking good.

Steve, McStalker & me headed up the trail first followed shortly by Joey and Berndt. Alex and Scrappy weren't far behind. A little later Suicide Peter, Czech Peter, Sandy, Don, & Airborne Ken all made their appearances. Sub Steve got off high launch after a slight disagreement with one of the roots, a little help from your friends is always appreciated. As Berndt was setting up Alex got off from low launch. Berndt finally got a good "low" cycle to get off high launch and soon reported not much lift, even though the wind was a bit spicy. That made some of us come to the conclusion that the wind had shifted to the North. So a few of the later arrivals hiked up the North ridge to give that a try.

In the meantime Alex made his first of at least a couple top landings over on the north ridge, and Scrappy took off out of mid launch and then had to top land soon thereafter. A few minutes later I made my escape from high launch, and that's when I stopped keeping track of who was launching from where when. The first part of our "session" was wonderful, smooth air, with as many as nine pilots airborne at the same time. And then came the squall, which McStalker quantified as "transparent". So while Alex and Scrappy top landed to wait it out the "Storm Riders", Berndt, Suicide Pete (partial credit) Jeff, Steve, Joey, & me, all hung out with the idea that the squall would pass quickly.

Needless to say our judgment was a bit off, so we all ended up flying around in the rain for 20-30 minutes and got pretty wet. After that of course we all had to stay aloft to try to dry ourselves out. After we landed, Nightshift dropped in, with hopes of getting an early flight (for him). There was an extravagant picnic table party feast thanks to Dorothy, with bread, cheese, olives, fruit, and of course beer. And a few people went up for a late try. Nightshift, Sandy, Berndt, Czech Pete, Don. When I left Czech Pete and Don were still up on launch.

Thanks to Don for the article title.


Suicide said...

nice write-up Jim. I didn't realize that you were planning to blog today. Didn't mean to steal your thunder.

Al praise to CHEF DOROTHY and her winderful food!


Alex said...

Great write-up and pictures, Jim! I only made the most minor of edits. I appreciate how quickly you got the report online!